Monday, October 18, 2010

Janus Kane on Mastering Fear and Pain

The Wasteland Chronicles
Your Body, The Colony Ship
Part 1: Fear and Pain

You've been alive for some time now, and chances are that you've noticed your body isn't wholly apart of you as a person. Everything that you think you are exists right in the majority of your skull. To break it down simply, your thoughts are made from existing thoughts stored in your subconscious brain, towards the base of your brain at the stem. Those thoughts get there by your reception organs. e.g. eyes, ears, tongue, nose, tactile... But wait, theres more. Balance, Pain, Direction, Acceleration, Kinesthetic, and Temperature. To be clear, there are even more senses, the original 5 are from medieval terminology. Lungs have stretch receptors for automated breathing, chemo receptors, cutaneous receptors, and a mess more that give you feedback. This feedback makes who you are, based on outside interference and you're natural rate of growth. That growth shouldn't be thought of as your true or pure self. The natural path is one of adaption, and you'll find it no matter what you run into.

With that in mind, we come into pain and fear. These particular feedbacks are particularly powerful for you to use. When your afraid, or retract from pain during an action, your mind will store that away as a dangerous scene to avoid. You don't control this, you can only set up yourself to respond differently. How do we do that, you might be asking. Or perhaps you're saying something like "I can choose to do anything I want." Well you're wrong, I suggest you take this opportunity to learn something new about yourself. While we cant decide our reactions, we can always give ourselves the proper tools to react with. We're going to go into two very important aspects of preparing yourself. I can promise you it will save your life a number of times, without fail. Fear and pain are important features to keep us safe, but they often stop us from advancing. You have one life, and twenty or eighty years end up being the same thing when your on your last breath. So please, keep reading, and become what you can.

Pain Reflex
The feeling of pain will often make you flinch, right? I bet you even avoid it. But why? Pain itself doesn't hurt you, grievous injury does that. Though the two are tied together, they needn't be synonymous with one another. Remember when we were talking about ourselves being trapped inside the skull? Well, thats more or less a literal translation of what you are. You are not your body, though you are tied to it. The old philosophical debate of how much of a human you have to remove to make him inhuman? Enough to kill the brain, that is all. The heart is made of millions of organisms, and they make up the lifeform of a heart. They make up muscle fibers and tendons to move the pulley system of your arms and legs. They make up your stomach, which converts other life into energy to run your colony ship. You are god. And like our gods, we are trapped with our worshipers. Pain is one of the ways these sectors of our ship tell us something is happening. Embrace that, realize it's your job to protect and rule your body. But Daddy Kane... I don't get it. How do we stop pain? You don't. But it will stop you. While you're flinching, or cringing, or even bleeding out, pain will inflict you and tell you harder and harder that you have to do something. When you get shot, the next second will decide if you live or die. Do you whip your pistol out, bumrush the attacker, or fall to your knees. Just like that, how well trained you are in pain will decide your lifespan. You can either curl up, and let darkness take us. Allowing the master some rest from it's duties after so many years... Or, you can stop being a little bitch, and suck it up. Here's how.

Pain isn't suffering. Suffering is the resistance of pain. That small, fine difference is difficult to learn on your own, but with enough training you'd come to that conclusion yourself. So I'll save you the fucked up bones and lifelong muscle aches, and just tell you that off that bat. Pain just says hi, and then we freak out... Or, you don't notice it. Like the stories of people being stabbed without noticing it. If you accept that something is happening rather than resisting it, you will be able to walk through fire.  Try this sometime with a friend. You'll need a firearm with paintrounds, or beanbag rounds. Or alternatively, a melee-based taser. The goal is to put earmuffs on to heighten surprise, and have your friend ambush you around corners you dont know hes behind. Whats likely going to happen is your knees will drop out and you'll shake alot. Have him shoot you again when your down. Keep it up, you'll find that very soon, you're instead leaning into the attacks, pushing through them instinctively. You win the game when you shock/shoot him or disarm him. You lose when you piss yourself. Change, and return to the game, life doesn't wait for babies. Try experimenting with pain, try performing minute actions like writing or aiming while experiencing pain. Learn your limits, before the world does.

Fear is a control-freak coward
What about fear, Daddy Kane? Listen up mates, fear is the single most destructive force in your world. In your life, your going to have less than a second to get what you want at any given moment. You need to REACT, not act. You cant do shit for you when your body in danger, thats why we have a reptilian/unconscious brain. This high speed portion of our inner workings translates our past knowledge from our conscious side at a blazing rate. As a fun fact, your peripherals are ten times faster when reacting to moving objects due to their connection directly into the reactionary reflex, as opposed to the center of vision, which deals with clarity, distance, object differentials, and all the other jazz we memorize when we see something. That flash before your eyes, where you look back and can only remember seeing the baseball right in front of your face? Thats your brain trying to keep up, and failing. Thats you acting. Stop that.

Training your fear is super easy in comparison, and more or less painless. Though don't let pain stop you either, thats fears greatest weapons. Right up there with eternal damnation, taxes, and social constructs telling you that you can't rise above your station. Fuck them, in every form of that world. Only you, and Daddy Kane, can tell you what you can or can't do with your life. I'd say don't even listen to me, but it seems counterproductive at best. Go to a cliff over deep water, or a plane whilst wearing a parachute, or anything that won't kill outright. Go to the ledge of your fear, and step off. This is the brute force technique, and will weaken it's hold on your brain. However, to truly appreciate and therefore defeat fear, go to a windowless room. Turn off all of the lights, and sit in a chair. Cover up every source of light you can find. What you'll see, suddenly, is a writhing mass of blackness reaching out for you from the corner of your eyes. You'll see shapes, and feel like something is just about to grab you. It's right behind you, you can feel it brushing the back of your neck. You'll even hear voices, and see creatures lurk from the darkness. You'll see all of this because fear is a lieing bitch. Much like most misunderstood heroes, he means well, he just lacks tact. Fear is a dick, and a liar. Stare at those shadows, seriously, stare them down. Don't move though, just let them come closer and closer. They won't, and can't hurt you, because they are of course aren't there. Shadows don't exist without light.

So why do we see them? It's an illusion created from chemical rushes in our body, the survival instinct kicking in that makes us all jittery and unreasonable. Remember this mates, fear is a real thing, and it can and will stop you from succeeding in whatever you choose to do. When I tell you, my comrades, that confidence is the key. I mean it with a loving heart, hoping truly that you will learn what I have and rise above. We don't have a user manual for this body, and there won't be a highscore saved. Band together mates, understand yourself and thus accept others.

Keep the peace mates, accept no master but yourself.



  1. This is only part 1? What else do you plan to tell us?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very interested in this next arc you're writing but I'm curious as to what will be written next.

  2. I'm sorry, but pain itself *does* hurt me.
    You make it sound so easy to reorganize the way my brain should function when it encounters any form of discomfort.
    Maybe it is the training. Maybe that is your benefit here.
    Maybe it is your very disquieting way of describing any sort of suffering in that weird narrative skill that you posses.
    All I know is that I am forgetting I was ever in this particular post and waiting for something more technical.

  3. The goal is to befriend pain, and recognize it as a signal, rather than an urge. I'm glad your all liking the branch, figured I'd give the polls another day to get some votes.


  4. Interesting post. Are you going to give actual advice on how to control fear/pain in the next parts?

  5. as someone who has lived with pain his whole life, i can attest to the fact it is controllable.

  6. Very passionate views.

    Your 3 word sentence embedded in your post will have me visiting your place again.

    That sentence was "You are God".

  7. I've always been interested in pain. I used to intentionally harm myself with the intention of getting used to it and seeing if my brain could handle it better each time. That's part of the reason I loved fighting so much. The only pain I'm unable to control is the constant back pain I have. It has the potential of driving me insane.

  8. this is pretty awesome stuff here
    keep up the great work

  9. Interesting post Kane, it is all about the survival of the fittest, and mastering your emotions, controlling your fears, and overcoming pain and adversity are part of it.

    You continue to write enlightening posts, keep up the good work mate.

  10. thnx for the info

  11. They have proven that pain is only in the mind.
    There are people who cannot feel pain, and they end up hurting themselves without noticing.. its quite interesting!

  12. This is really great.

    Ever notice that your consciousness- if you imagine where it is- seems to always be surrounded around your head? =P

    1. Not always... There are times when it drifts far far away ;)

  13. Replies
    1. I hope you enjoyed some of my older works, stick around as I unveil my next arc of learning adventures! The ride never ends.



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